January 17, 2008

Columbus intimidates Indians?

Defense attorney for three parade protesters compares Columbus to HitlerDefense lawyers argued Wednesday that Columbus Day protesters had a right to block a Denver parade because it celebrated a man whom American Indians view as a slave trader, murderer and rapist.

"Are you aware that to some Native Americans, celebrating Columbus is the same as celebrating Hitler to Jews?" attorney David Lane asked prospective jurors during the first in a series of trials for more than 80 people arrested in the Oct. 6 protest.

Denver police made the arrests in an annual ritual in which opponents try to block the parade.

Lane argued that the parade is a form of "ethnic intimidation," similar to burning a cross on a black family's lawn.
Comment:  I hope the defendants have a better argument than this up their sleeves.

One could claim almost anything is meant to intimidate someone. For instance, Jews could claim a cross on a church intimidates them, because it reminds them of past pogroms. But in a multicultural society, they don't get to make that claim. They have to accept that others viewed the cross differently.

The situation might be different if the symbol were universally recognized as vile and odious. But that's not the case with Columbus. He's a hero to some, an ambivalent figure to others, and a villain to relatively few.

The courts allowed Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois. They aren't going to turn around and say Columbus supporters can't march. However bad Columbus was, he was no Hitler.

Looks to me like the parade protesters are going to jail.

9 comments:

dmarks said...

I have little patience with protesters who try to shout down or shut down others' peaceful gatherings, no matter how repugnant the target is. I guess these protesters have no respect for the First Amendment of the Constitution, which respects the right to assemble

russell said...

Writerfella here --
And which Amendment to the Constitution respects the right to dissemble, to perpetuate the lie that Columbus was an honorable, venerable, commemorable AMERICAN hero? And what is so peaceful about a 'holiday' that elevates an enslaver, a usurper, and a fool? Sooner there should be a Jean Lafitte Day!
In actuality, Jews would be intimidated both by the Christian cross AND the swastika, as those both are crosses, symbolic of the philosophic and conceptual quartering of the universe into active and passive principles.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

dmarks said...

A holiday is not an act of violence. Not is a parade. Saying that either is diminishes the meaning of actual violence.

(And I don't like either Columbus or his holiday).

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Oh, yeah? What about Good Friday, which fast is becoming an observed holiday in the United States? It most certainly is not observing a time of mucho sweetness and light!
What about the 4th of July? Or V-E or V-J Days? THOSE last two were observed national holidays when writerfella was a lad! V-J Day especially commemorated the dropping of TWO atomic weapons!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I haven't heard of any movement to make Good Friday an observed holiday. Sounds like a fiction to me.

Re "And which Amendment to the Constitution respects the right to dissemble, to perpetuate the lie that Columbus was an honorable, venerable, commemorable AMERICAN hero?" I believe the First Amendment covers that. The only relevant exceptions are libel and slander, which apply only to living persons.

Re "In actuality, Jews would be intimidated both by the Christian cross AND the swastika": They would be? Crosses are mounted on church buildings now. Are you saying Jews have a legitimate reason to seek a government ban on such crosses?

I agree with DMarks on this issue. It seems your grasp of our constitutional rights is shaky at best.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Wake up and smell the florist, Rob! Good Friday continues to see more and more city and state amd some Federal offices closing in observance, even in California! And try going to the Pechanga business complex next March 21. You may be surprised!
And it is EuroMan's grasp of Constitutional rights that is "shaky at best." Take Bush's 'faith-based initiatives,' completely in defiance of any ostensible separation of church and state. Consider Congress handing its Constitutionally-granted power to declare war over to the Executive branch of government. Consider that the Supreme Court of the United States was allowed to settle the debacle 2000 national election for President. It is little wonder, therefore, that treaties made between the United States government and Native tribes rarely if ever have been observed or honored. Quoting ANIMAL FARM once again, "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others..."
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Until you document your claim that Good Friday is spreading as an observed holiday, it remains your unsubstantiated opinion and nothing more.

Here are some facts on the matter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday

In the United States, Good Friday is not a federal holiday, although it is a state holiday in some locations. U.S. governments are also constitutionally prevented from forcing most private businesses to open or close on any particular day, so the stock markets are usually closed on Good Friday along with some other businesses (especially in rural areas)--but the majority of businesses are open on Good Friday.

http://www.lava.net/~hcssc/goodfriday2002protest.html

A proper First Amendment challenge was successful in Wisconsin, where the state was forced to abolish its Good Friday holiday after the US District Court there ruled:

"...Wisconsin's designation of Good Friday as a holiday...[is] in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution." Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Tommy G. Thompson (Governor of Wisconsin), Civil No. 95-C-6634-S, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin (1996).

russell said...

Writerfella here --
If indeed it is writerfella's "unsubstantiated opinion," then this blogsite is the absolutely most perfect venue and vehicle for it, to be sure! But writerfella apologizes that it pales beside your own "unsubstantiated opinions," Rob. writerfella mayhaps will study your extreme mastery of "unsubstantiated opinions" and thus strive to do better...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

You do know what "unsubstantiated" means, don't you? When I quote from a website, as I just did, I've substantiated my opinion. When you spout off without quoting or citing a source, your haven't substantiated yours.

Let us know when you have anything other than your unsubstantiated opinion to offer regarding the spread of Good Friday.